Recessed Chin

Recessed Chin

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A recessed chin is a natural occurrence among men and women, and it occurs when the chin is placed further back toward the neck.

Also called a weak chin or a receding chin, a recessed chin can have a significant impact on overall facial appearance. It can make the upper lip or nose look as though they point outwards more than usual, while also having an effect on the shape of the jawline.

Most people who suffer from a recessed chin discover that it has been caused by heredity and have it for their entire lives. For the majority of the population, a recessed chin is a cosmetic matter that does not affect the functionality of speaking or eating. However, some people with a recessed chin could have problems with their speech.

Having a recessed chin can dramatically affect the overall appearance of an individual and influence the facial profile. This is common among individuals who are self-conscious about their appearance.

If this is the case, there are treatments that can help to reduce the impression of having a weak chin.

What is a Recessed or Receding Chin?

What is a Recessed or Receding Chin?
What is a Recessed or Receding Chin?

A recessed or “weak” chin is clearly a chin that does not extrude much beyond the lower jaw, if at all. Several people with a recessed chin are self-conscious about their image. Even the word used to call a recessed chin—a weak chin—seems created to hurt rather than describe.

Retrogenia is the term used to describe the condition that occurs when your chin projects slightly backward toward your neck. This characteristic is also called a receding chin.

A strong chin, on the other hand, is a chin that points beyond the lower jaw and gives a better definition to the lower jawline.

Nonetheless, it makes little sense for one chin to be identified as “strong” and the other “weak.” The face is not somehow stronger with a noticeable chin. Although, stronger chins tend to be more aesthetically charming than weaker chins.

Ideally, the chin should contribute to the symmetry, contour, and vertical balance of the face. In other words, there is a variety of chin sizes and shapes that are appropriate for each person’s face. Fortunately, a proficient facial plastic surgeon can “strengthen” a weak chin, and produce better proportion and balance to the entire face.

What Causes Recessed Chin?

What Causes Recessed Chin?
What Causes Recessed Chin?

Your jaw is a combination of bone and soft tissues. What we traditionally describe as the jaw is a structure called the mandible or lower jaw.

The mandible limits the actual position of your chin while the encompassing tissues affect its appearance.

The upper and lower jaws are almost similar to each other based on the normal anatomy of a skeleton. When the chin is fixed back excessively as opposed to the upper jaw, this is called retrogenia, or a receding chin.

Retrogenia is usually caused by genetics. In most circumstances, it’s a cosmetic matter and doesn’t affect the capacity of your speech or eating.

However, retrogenia can also happen due to some congenital ailments such as Pierre Robin sequence and Treacher Collins syndrome. This occurs when a person with a small jaw also has reduced breathing capabilities. This usually develops as the baby and the jaw grow over time.

In many situations, a receding chin is a common part of aging in both men and women. As you grow older, you may normally lose a bit of bone and soft tissue around your jaw, leading to retrogenia.

Some people are simply born with a receding chin or acquire one due to an overbite. In these cases, using braces can sometimes bring the chin back out.

Active Chin Recession

This condition happens rarely after the early teen years, unless you have a particularly rare condition such as arthritis of lower jaw bone or temporomandibular joint. 

Mandible Cancer or certain extensive dental problems can also be the potential cause behind a receding chin.

Congenital Recession

This can begin at an early stage or even while the baby is still in the womb.

A person can possess a receded chin by birth wherein, the growth of the chin and lower jaw gets affected. This is one of the most frequent reasons for retrograde development (opposite to natural development) of the chin.

A traumatic injury injuring the lower jaw, especially during childhood, can regulate bone growth and subsequently result in a receding chin.

In a situation called Micrognathia, the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw. This results in the chin looking smaller in size as the lower jaw itself has retarded growth. This congenital state can be independent or maybe one of the traits of other defects such as trisomy 13, Marfan’s syndrome, etc.

How Does Chin Impact Someone’s Overall Appearance?

How Does Chin Impact Someone’s Overall Appearance?
How Does Chin Impact Someone’s Overall Appearance?

Young adults do not understand the amount of influence of the shape, size, and prominence of one’s chin. By fixing a receding chin, you can also obtain: 

Balanced Traits

Your side profile seems imbalanced when your chin is receding. The chin is not in line with the rest of the facial characteristics, and hence something seems off. By fixing your mandible (lower jaw) forward you can restore the symmetry of the chin. 

Well Defined Jawline

A receding chin can interfere with a lean jawline, creating a rounded facial shape. By sculpting a stronger chin, you can achieve a stronger partition between the neck and the jawline.

Smaller Looking Nose

By improving the position and prominence of the chin, one can produce an illusion of a smaller nose. As your chin is smaller and misplaced when receding, it usually makes your nose seem larger.

How to Tell if You Have a Recessed Chin?

How to Tell if You Have a Recessed Chin?
How to Tell if You Have a Recessed Chin?

Ideally, the front-most tip of the chin is about in the same vertical plane as the lips when looking at a person from the side. You can view this by having someone take a profile picture of you.

Another helpful tool is called Rickett’s Esthetic Line. This is a straight line that runs from the tip of your nose to the tip of your chin. You can make this line with the use of a pencil or your index finger. Place the tip of your index finger on the tip of your nose and put the base of your index finger at the tip of your chin.

The lips should be approximately two to four millimeters from this line. In individuals with a weak chin, Rickett’s Esthetic Line either meets the lips or goes through the lips.

You can perform a self-diagnose if you have a receding chin due to its patent look. The chin is small and protruded backward which makes the face appear flat.

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

People might complain about the pain in their temporomandibular joint while speaking and eating if there is associated arthritis.

Predominant Smile Lines

The wrinkles around the mouth are much more obvious and shadowed because the chin is comparatively smaller than usual.

Double Chin

Early growth of double chin is found in people with receding chin. Because the chin is smaller and ill-defined, the shape or profiles of the chin and neck remain unclear.


In some cases where the mandible is extremely smaller than the upper jaw, the upper lips tend to stick out. A person with such overbite may also find it hard to eat due to the misaligned jaw. 

Could Your Chin be Stronger?

Could Your Chin be Stronger?
Could Your Chin be Stronger?

Some are not happy with the chin they were born with, but many others don’t realize the impact created by the shape or size of their chin.

Over time, however, the muscles of the face droop. The skin tends to become loose and “jowly,” and fat pockets form in the cheeks and neck. One outcome of aging most people do not apprehend is that the chin appears to lose its definition.

As other structures around the chin loosen and sag, they begin to disappear in the face. A chin that was once “strong” may become comparatively weak as the skin of the face ages.

Facial plastic surgery can solve this issue. An expert facial plastic surgeon can use a tailored blend of fat transfers, dermal fillers, or a chin implant to give the chin added definition and size.

This relatively minor structural modification can make a dramatic development in the overall appearance of the face. It improves the jawline, which reduces neck sagging and jowly cheeks. When chin procedures are coupled with a facelift and several other treatments, the effects can be even more impressive.

How to Fix a Recessed Chin

How to Fix a Recessed Chin
How to Fix a Recessed Chin

The internet is full of various exercises that guarantee to fix a receding chin. These often include stretching your neck and chin area up and down, which is thought to help strengthen the chin muscles and tighten any loose skin.

While these exercises seem encouraging, they won’t fix a receding chin. Your chin’s condition is defined by bone and soft tissue, not muscles.

To get rid of a receding chin, you might need surgery. Both chin implants and sliding genioplasty, which includes cutting and reshaping your lower jaw bone, can help.

Before opting for surgery, though, keep in mind you’ll need six weeks to fully recover. Besides, most insurance companies won’t include surgery to fix a receding chin unless it causes health problems.


Chin implants, also called chin augmentation or chin enlargement, are a good choice to fix retrogenia.

Chin augmentation may be performed with either general or local anesthesia. During this outpatient method, your surgeon makes a cut along the crease of your chin, normally where the inside of your mouth joins your gum line. They’ll insert the implant closer to the incision.

This kind of surgery is most suitable for mild to moderate cases of receding chin, where your chin might seem smaller than the rest of your facial features. There’s also little to no scarring required.

However, there is a risk of infection and nerve damage. Some people may also be allergic to the implants, which can create negative reactions.

Sliding genioplasty

Sliding genioplasty is a better alternative for more critical receding chins caused by bone loss.

For this kind of surgery, your doctor will make a cut on both sides of your chin so they can reach your lower jaw bone. They’ll then make a smaller cut in the portion that makes up your chin. This enables them to transfer part of the bone forward. They’ll use a small metal plate to retain the repositioned bone in place.

Sliding genioplasty requires general anesthesia and this procedure carries a greater risk of scarring and infection. Make sure to tell your doctor if you start to experience fever, excessive bleeding, or oozing near the cut during your recovery.

Dental Braces

Whether you should get dental braces or not depends on the underlying condition of an individual’s recessed chin. Hence, it is suggested that children should have their initial orthodontic check-up at around age seven.

Braces and orthodontic aids do tend to be more successful with regards to weak chin when the patient is still young.

Early orthodontic supervision guarantees that any deficient jaw growth adding to the position of the chin is restrained. It is also possible to start guiding the jaw’s growth in a healthy direction at this age.


Mewing is a method of maintaining a proper tongue posture. This includes resting your tongue on the roof of the mouth instead of the bottom. 

Dr. Mike Mew, the dental specialist behind this method, advises chewing your food very thoroughly to keep a good oral posture. Practicing this can result in a more chiseled jawline, and can stop dental issues such as tooth crowding or dysfunctional bite.

An ideal oral posture is having your mouth closed, lips shut, molar teeth touching or almost touching, and most importantly, keeping your whole tongue (even the back) against the roof of your mouth.

Personalities Who Undergone Chin Surgeries

Bristol Palin

Sarah Palin’s daughter presented her new face at an afterparty for the White House Correspondents Association dinner in 2011, five months after having corrective jaw surgery.

According to her, the surgery was “required for medical reasons.” She revealed to Us Weekly, though, that it “enhanced” the way she looks and she no longer obsesses over her face.

Stassi Schroeder

Never one to shy away from improvements, the former Vanderpump Rules star revealed that while chin implants may look good, they aren’t always simple to manage. Stassi’s modified chin can get a little numb, resulting in some potentially messy positions.

Clay Aiken

The runner-up to Ruben Studdard may seem a little different than when he first emerged on American Idol. That’s because he had work done — both for health and for superficial goals.

Aiken said to Andy Cohen, “I had operative surgery on my jaw for a TMJ thing and I had them suck the fat out of my chin while they were in there.”

Kristin Chenoweth

Nothing confirmed but you’ll surely notice that Kristin once had a rather pointed chin. Now, her jawline is wider and more squared off, which may be characteristic of chin augmentation.

Vicki Gunvalson

Divorce didn’t get the Real Housewives of Orange Country star down. She reportedly got her chin enhanced as part of an $8,000 “breakover.”

Renee Zellweger

Some stand by Zellweger’s word that her modified appearance is due to aging and lifestyle changes. Then some think that the actress looks a bit touched by a needle, particularly at her jawline, which has a new fullness.

Final Thoughts

Receding chins are a popular cosmetic annoyance, and the internet is loaded with neck and chin exercises that promise to fix it.

While these exercises can’t alter the shape of your chin, chin implants and sliding genioplasty surely can. Speak to your doctor about which option suits best for your chin.

Various websites are offering quick fixes such as chin fillers. However, we suggest consulting with an expert to distinguish the best possible way of treating the recession. 

On the other hand, you can always practice mewing and other jawline exercises if you feel that the extra facial fat is causing your jaw to look weak. But if the chin is seriously recessed, only a professional will be the one capable of fixing it. 

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